Times are changing and so is our current world and way of life. Many of us have been stood down from our jobs or are working from home, giving us much more time to incorporate exercise into our daily life! Incorporating physical activity into our everyday routine is essential and will prove especially beneficial in our current climate. Regular physical activity not only benefits our physical health, but also benefits our mental health, allowing for endorphins – our happy hormone! – to be released. Physical activity is also shown to improve sleep and manage stress which I’m confident we can all agree is particularly important in today’s society.
I’m sure many people at home have found they have either dramatically increased their levels of exercise, completely introduced exercise into their routine, or been the complete opposite and haven’t left bed since being homebound. If you are any of these options, we’re here to tell you that exercising at home isn’t really all that bad! In fact, it can be really fun! Being stuck at home doesn’t mean exercise has to be boring. There are many different exercise options available which require minimal to no equipment at all, as well as many different ways to keep exercise interesting and exciting.
There are endless ways to exercise safely at home, ensuring we stay fit and healthy during this time. Exercise can be something as simple as putting your favourite song on repeat and dancing your heart out, playing in the backyard with your children and pets, or even putting on those old 80’s aerobic videos you have stashed away in the garage and getting your sweat on to some Madonna! – I know you want to. If you want to go for something a bit more structured, there are endless arrays of home-based exercise programs available at the moment, and with personal trainers having to turn to online training programs due to the current restrictions, they’re easily accessible and really cheap (even free!). Gyms and fitness clubs have also turned to online platforms with most providing online classes which are easily accessible at home. Don’t be afraid to ask around. If you are a member of a gym contact them and ask what options they are offering their members during these times, if you are a friend of a personal trainer or a fitness professional, reach out and ask them for their advice. They may know someone who can help you or they may even be able to help you themselves. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or repetitive! Incorporating different types of circuit training such as high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T) and AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) into your weekly exercise routine is certain to keep things exciting and different every session.
The general recommendations for exercise is a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular (cardio) training per week, 75 minutes of intense cardio throughout the week, or a combination of both. Cardio training is basically any type of exercise that leads to an increase in your heart rate and results in you having to breathe faster. This usually refers to activities that aim to increase your stamina. This can be achieved by completing a brisk walk, going for a run, riding a bike, or completing cardio based workouts from home. Incorporating exercises such as burpees, squat jumps, shuttle runs, boxing, and skipping are just some of the ways to ensure exercising is kept interesting and enjoyable! Strength training should also be incorporated into your workout routine at least twice a week, focusing on the major muscle groups such as your legs, back, arms, and chest. Just because gyms aren’t open, doesn’t mean strength training should be abandoned completely. Never underestimate the power of your own body weight as a form of resistance! However, if you’re one of the lucky ones and was able to purchase weights before the world went crazy and started stockpiling them, then that’s great, if not, no dramas! There are many basic household items which could be used instead. Instead of dumbbells, use cartons of milk or juice! Filling up a backpack with a sack of potatoes can work great for an easy back squat – it’s that simple! Resistance bands are also a great idea, and can be relatively cheap, starting anywhere from $15.
If you’re new to exercising, it can sometimes be very hard to find the motivation to start, especially during this time. Having a goal or some type of inspiration can help this, anything from wanting to be able to run 2km easily, wanting to be fit for your family, or simply wanting to lose weight. Once you have a goal or inspiration to work towards, you will find that motivation will come easily and before you know it exercising will be something you look forward to! Whatever your goal may be, ensure to keep track of your progress. If it’s losing weight buy some scales or use a pair of pants and take note of how they feel to wear. If it’s wanting to increase your running speed, time your first run, and two weeks later do the exact same run and time it again. It’s really that simple! You will be surprised how much the small improvements make such a big impact to your wellbeing.
If you’re working from home, make a conscious effort to take a break every 30-60 minutes to get up, walk around, and get your body moving. It’s so easy to fall into a rhythm of sitting around all day and becoming quite lazy. A good tip from us is to mimic your office environment. If you usually have a break at 11am to get a coffee, do the same at home! If 12pm is your lunch break, take the time to make your lunch, sit down and enjoy it, and most importantly move your body. Also be conscious of how your workspace at home is set up. If you’re slouching, laying down, sitting on the couch or lounging around for long periods of time while you work, you are more likely to experience pain or injury. Some simple tips from us would be:
· Set up your workspace on a desk with appropriate support.
· Work in a space with natural lighting and fresh air.
· If you feel uncomfortable, ensure you’re sitting in your seat correctly and use the back support!
· Ensure your computer is at eye level.
· Keep moving throughout the day, every 30-60 minutes.
Times are tough for everyone right now and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping yourself fit and active has never been more important. Keeping active is easy and accessible for everyone and will ensure we come out on the other side better and stronger than ever! For more information head to www.physioyves.com, we’re always here to help!
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